I’m considering perception … how our perceptions affects our emotions and/or actions.
Years ago, a person moved to into a small home a couple blocks way from the ocean. She was thrilled to move there ….She could see waves crashing from some of her windows and she could hear the soothing sound of the foghorn. But the first night she slept there, she awoke in the middle of the night to the sound of dogs barking. Lots of dogs, she thought it must be a kennel. All night long, dogs barking very loudly. It kept her awake for hours … that night and the next night and the next … She couldn’t understand why people were allowing that commotion to go on.
Finally, she’d had enough. One night, about 2 in the morning, she got out of bed, got dressed, got in her car and started to drive toward the sound of the barking dogs. She was going to find that kennel; Not sure what she was going to do when she found it, but she planned to somehow make them stop that racket.
Thoughts During Meditation. Many people make the mistake of thinking that meditation requires them to shut off their thinking or their feelings. They somehow hear the instructions as meaning that if they are thinking, that is “bad”, and that a “good meditation” is one in which there is little or no thinking. Thinking is not bad, nor is it even undesirable during meditation. What matters is whether you are aware of your thoughts and feelings during meditation and how you are in relationship to them. Trying to suppress them will only result in greater tension and frustration and more problems, not in calmness, insight, clarity and peace.
We are not trying to stop our thoughts as they cascade through the mind. We are simply making room for them, observing them as thoughts, and letting them be, using the breath as our anchor or “home base” for observing, for reminding us to stay focused and calm. It might help to keep in mind that the awareness of our thoughts and emotions is the same awareness as the awareness of our breathing.